Bowling For Soup’s Erik Chandler: “I’m not sure if anyone has figured out where the music industry is going”.

Bowling For Soup had their ‘Farewell UK’ tour in 2013, it’s only been about three years – why come back now?

It was just that, as in ‘farewell’ not ‘good bye’. That tour was like us saying ‘hey, we’ll be back in a little while…we’re probably going to be back..’ We’re going to change the manner in which we tour over here. Several years ago there was a point we were coming here about three or four times a year. We’re not getting any younger, we have families, things like that and to leave the country [their home US] for 25 days for 25 shows, and no days off, tends to be a little taxing on every little portion of your life. It was about a year ago when we started discussing this and it’s like ‘Okay, time to go back!’ but we wanted to scale it back a bit and do two weeks instead of like three or four weeks. I think we did okay to knock ten shows off this tour, and we’re in places were if you HAVE TO travel: it’s not THAT far to get to a show. We’re all happy with how this turned out.

You have your own solo album coming out soon – what can we expect from it?

It’s quite different from Bowling For Soup. The years of 1985 to 1994 are my ‘golden age’ of music. It’s a fairly 90s-centric album. It’s kind of a rock ‘N roll…singer/songwriter project. If that makes sense…that’s what it is.

The album is being funded via a pledge campaign, rather than being release through a label, do you feel this is the way forward?

On  certain level – labels do offer a lot of things that are good. But I think that sort of business model is becoming a bit obsolete. Not that they aren’t good or helpful, but for some artists there are other ways to do things. I’m not the kind of guy who slams record labels. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for a label. I do recognise the benefits, but realistically there are other ways to do it.  The music business is changing, it’s evolving, and I’m not sure if anyone has figured out where its going. But at the moment – crowd sourcing is a wonderful way for it to go. We don’t know where it will go.

So with your solo career, Jaret’s podcast, work with People On Vacation and other work outside of BFS, will there be another Bowling For Soup album in the works?

We’re discussing going in to the studio at some point later this year… but what is going to happen in the studio is kind of still up in the air. We have a few ideas, including things we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Really the idea is like ‘hey, sometime this summer, let’s get back in the studio’ and we have time to talk when we get there.  That’s as far as the band have discussed it so far (laughs) so we will be recording something,what we will be recording… I have no clue!

How about ‘volume 2’ of your ‘Songs People Actually Liked’ compilation?

You know, the idea behind that was to do two volumes: one from the first ten years, one from the second ten years. Yet the bigger idea was to give us the opportunity to go back and re-record songs that we did earlier in our career that didn’t live up to their full potential. Whether it was our lack of experience in the studio or lack of technology we had at that point. It’s basically how we wanted these songs to sound like. So we thought the two volumes were a good idea. The problem there was the second ten years – technology and experience kinda caught up. We’re still discussing ‘volume 2’, but I’m not sure if it will be the same as the first one. And we wouldn’t want to go back and re-record something and have it sound exactly like it did about 10 years ago.  So we’ve got to put a little more thought in to volume 2 before we bring it to fruition.

What can expect from this tour?

We’ve been gone from the UK for about three years now, so this is a kind of ‘playing the hits’ set. We have a great deal of production and this is the first tour we’ve done with extensive pyrotechnics, we’ve got flames coming out everywhere! This is one of the things we had to discuss in great detail when desciding the set list, which is something new for us. This is the first tour we’ve used a setlist for – which is something we never… EVER do. For the ease of production, we decided ‘yup, this is what we will do each night’ we may throw you a few curve-balls! It’s so weird to have to look down to see what song is coming next but theres these marks next to it say ‘there’s going to be FIRE in this song…so stay away from the fire!’ Or else I’d get my hair burnt off.We have discussed the next time we’ll come over, it might be a couple of years still.

Do you still enjoy visiting the UK?

Absolutly. I’m not going to lie – we’re not young guys any more, we’re grumpy old men, we’re grizzled road dogs who get synical and jaded about things – so when we leave the country (US) we tend to complain a bit beforehand but when we started last night [the first date in Glasgow] we got about four or five songs in I got that inner-smile and thought ‘this is why I do this’ I was so glad we came back after so long because everyone seemed very appreciative of us.

Check out what we thought of Bowling For Soup at their Newcastle gig by clicking here

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